COACH ERIC DISAPPOINTED WITH SECOND HALF SHOWING
19 October 2020
At half time at the FNB Stadium on Sunday, Maritzburg United had found themselves 1-0 against Kaizer Chiefs and seemingly in control of their MTN8 quarter-final clash.
The Team of Choice had played some excellent football in the opening stanza and took the lead through a lovely goal by Thabiso Kutumela in the 35th minute.
More chances arrived for United, but they failed to add to the scoreline and that ultimately proved costly, much to coach Eric’s disappointment.
"First half, we should have killed off the game to be brutally honest,” he said after the game. “We dominated completely, we hit the crossbar, we should have been two or three nil up at half-time. We should have shut out the game and ended it in the first half.
"And because we didn't, we got punished for it in the second. It was chalk and cheese - performance of the first half versus the performance of the second half.”
Chiefs coach Gavin Hunt introduced Leonardo Castro after the interval and the Colombian gave the Soweto side more of a focal point up front.
"Yes, Castro came in, he made a big difference for them,” coach Eric explained. “They were playing the ball into his feet. We allowed the ball to go into his feet and they were looking to play from there.
“But we didn't respond to it and react to it, we didn't press them as well as we did in the first half. We pressed them and looked to play on the transitions, we looked good going forward. Second-half, non-existent.”
What was especially disheartening for Maritzburg was the manner in which they allowed Amakhosi to seal victory; two Yagan Sasman goals in two second half minutes both from Khama Billiat corners.
“We allowed them back in,” the Team of Choice mentor said. “Two set-pieces. We spoke about it for the whole week. Every interview I do, I say the only place they can hurt you is from the set-piece and you go and concede two goals from the set-piece. We threw away a great opportunity here to get into a semi-final,” he continued.
“Everybody must take responsibility. It's very easy to point fingers at everyone. Even I must take responsibility. And we'll go back and work on it during the week. And you hope that people learn from these mistakes. But these mistakes are very costly.”
Next up for United is Saturday’s league match away at Baroka FC.
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